Please introduce your company and give a brief about your role within the company?
Intelivita is a bespoke mobile app & web Development Company. We help businesses, as well as individuals, digitally transform their operations/ideas. We started our company in 2015 in India with two working partners on board — Tuhin Bhatt and Dhaval Sarvaiya. Three years later, in 2018, as the business started growing exponentially in the UK and Europe, we registered ourselves as a company in the UK. We also got Oliver Baker on board to handle the UK region operations.
As one of the founding partners, I am actively engaged in the day-to-day operations of Intelivita. I take care of onboarding new clients through requirement gathering, establishing consensus on the project timeline, putting down a definite tech stack in place, and also arriving at an estimated cost to the client. Once the project is approved, the ownership of project management is handed over to a dedicated project manager. I remain in constant touch with the team and the client acting as a person of contact. Be it for alterations, or escalations, I am always available for discussion.
What was the idea behind starting this organization?
From my childhood, I was always fascinated with video-games and was addicted to all kinds of games. Initially, Intelivita was founded to provide video game development services to end-clients. And, we further branched out to develop mobile apps, enterprise web sites/applications, augmented reality, and Virtual reality apps for startups as well as larger enterprises, like Microsoft and ITV. As we started small, since inception, our idea is to help small businesses and new startups build amazing products and scale them.
What are your company’s business model–in house team or third party vendors/ outsourcing?
We have an in-house team for all the development services we provide. The in-house team is always preferred as I am able to monitor team my-self, provide proper QA, and ultimately ensure that the work is as per desired quality and in a stipulated time-frame.
As the entire team works on the same floor, it leads to a thorough discussion before we start actual development work on the project. Thus, all features of the proposed system are more thoroughly evaluated, and any pitfalls omitted. It also leads to better on-going communication during the development as there are multiple persons involved in a single project, and they sit & work together.
How is your business model beneficial from a value addition perspective to the clients compared to other companies' models?
More than a business model, it is our development strategy that acts as a value addition or a differentiator. IT development is a crowded market space. There are so many players who are trying to do the same thing and expect different results. At Intelivita, we have a unique approach that begins with pre-development analysis.
As someone with an artistic mindset, I see this as nothing short of a work of art. Like artists, whenever we hit a roadblock, our development team creates creative and innovative workarounds. The end result is a perfectly crafted UI/UX that meets client requirements.
Also, a wide majority of the projects that come our way are new ideas and concepts that have not been tried in the market before. That calls for building a Minimum Viable Project. MVP development is a popular approach around the world, but there are not many specialists like Intelivita who offer it as a service. This is one of our core differentiators.
To deliver projects on time, within the budget, and also with benchmark quality, we follow agile methodology. Each project is broken down into individual sprints, each with its own well-defined deliverables. Intelivita has been hiring highly talented and experienced team members since day one. That makes it possible to work with maximum efficiency with minimal errors. So, we are able to commit to the client a clear deadline by when the project would be completed.
Another key fact to note is that we don’t take up-front payment for all the milestones. We deliver the work to the client, gather feedback, and incorporate those changes before delivering a completed task. Our agile methodology also helps work with pace and with urgency, unlike other project management methodologies.
What industries do you generally cater to? Are your customers repetitive? If yes, what ratio of clients has been repetitive to you?
We don’t cater to any specific industries, but many of our clients are individuals/companies who want to venture into launching their own mobile apps/websites and have unique ideas of their own. Furthermore, some projects are of digitally transforming the current operations of a business or improve their existing digital solution. Projects can be simple as a static website for a business to a complex Dating, on-demand taxi-hailing, Food Delivery, Fantasy Sports apps for young entrepreneurs. Once we work on a client initial’s requirement - they always prefer us for their next set of work - I would say around 30-40% of our customers are repetitive.
Mention the objectives or the parameters critical in determining the time frame of developing a mobile app.
Developing and launching a mobile app is a mission-critical process. It calls for accurate planning and checks to release the app on time. Intelivita takes into account 7 parameters that help us determine the right time frame for developing the mobile app.
- User experience — a simple UX does not require many resources. A complex UX which has to solve complex problems minimally is more time-consuming to build.
- Features — a long list of feature set extends the time frame for app development.
- Devices — Building apps for multiple operating systems and devices require more resources and time.
- Resources — Although Intelivita is adequately manned to build any kind of mobile app, we have to take into account that there are other projects going on. Further-more we need to decide on the internal team who will work on the app based on the features.
- App objectives — A well-built mobile app should solve problems. It should delight users and deliver a memorable user experience. It doesn’t come easy.
- Third-party integration — integrating other Third-party SDKs and their APIs with the app calls for more time and man-hours.
- Complexity — this is a subjective calculation. What is complex in one app environment may not be so in another environment. For instance, the logic for a food delivery app is pretty straight-forward. But, a real-time location-based dating app is complex and requires planning for diverse scenarios.
How much effort in terms of time goes into developing the front end and back end of a mobile app?
Time-frame for development is completely based on the requirement of the client. But keeping in mind the apps that we have developed so far, the time-frame usually ranges from 2.5 Months to 4 Months. This time-frame does include the creation of Wire-frames, Designing UI/UX, and Development of mobile apps, Back-end, Deployment of apps on Google Play / iTunes & Deployment of back-end on client’s server.
What are the key parameters to be considered before selecting the right platform for a mobile application?
In this age, both mobile platforms (Android & iOS) have high market penetration and basically equal share in developed countries. Generally, the only determining factor should be the budget of the client. If budget permits the development of apps for both platforms, that should be done to maximize potential users and revenue.
Secondly, the client must ask themselves who are the target users. If the app’s target users are mostly in the United States / UK or any developed country, iOS should be given the first preference considering its market share, though it’s very near to Android.
Similarly, if target users are in developing countries, the first platform for development should always be Android, considering that Android dominates the market in any non-developed nation. In some cases, the client can even omit the iOS Platform if the target country’s market share is in a single digit.
Which platform do you suggest your clients to begin with when they approach you with an idea (Android or iOS) and why?
In 90% of the cases, clients always approach with a request to develop apps for both IOS & Android. And if the client asks, we always suggest both of the platforms as they can maximize the app reach, and thus the revenue.
Android or iOS, Native or Hybrid — which platform is best to use to build your app? What are your recommendations?
Our recommendation is always to develop apps in Native. Most clients have in mind that developing an app in Native is more cost-prohibitive than Hybrid platforms, which is not usually the case. There have been many hybrid app development platforms in the market & most are not supported actively, not only in terms of features but also by the Dev community.
Four simple reasons Native is better:
- Vast Developers community — there is a large talent pool of developers for Android & iOS. Finding developers with the right mix of experience and expertise is not difficult.
- Features — Native platforms offer flexibility and scalability to integrate external APIs or SDKs, which hybrid platforms lack.
- UI/UX — Native platforms offer developers a blank canvas to create the perfect UI/UX that is best related to the user persona and app’s requirements. Complex UI elements can’t be easily designed/integrated into Hybrid as compared to Native.
- Native app development also facilitates the creation of UI Controls, which are consistent throughout the platform ecosystem and one which the users are already familiar with.
- Performance - the Native, always performs better than the Hybrid app, especially when it comes to app loading speed, it provides seamless user experience in all app operations. Also, they support technologies like Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, IoT, etc. seamlessly.
Most imp advantage Hybrid had was lower cost to develop (as only one code needs to be written). But it is greatly nullified due to the experience of native developers who can develop the native app faster and due to the reusability of already developed native coding modules across multiple apps. We generally recommend Flutter if client requests to develop Hybrid considering that the app has straight-forward UI & simple features, and we believe Flutter is the best Hybrid option in the current market for app development.
What are the key factors that you consider before deciding the cost of a mobile application?
- UI - Does the UI consist of straight-forward UI elements, or does it require more custom work?
- Platform - This is the key factor, whether the app is needed for both iOS and Android, or either.
- Devices - Whether an app is required for both mobile phones and tablets, or only for mobiles. Tablets do require a bit of extra work in terms of UI.
- Functionality / Features - Number of features has a major impact on the cost of the app. obviously, a simple static informative app would be very cheap in comparison to let’s say a taxi booking or a dating app.
- Back-end - Does the app require a back-end if it’s a data-driven app? If yes, then does the app require data from the back-end in real-time (real-time data examples would be Fantasy Sports / Betting / Taxi Booking / Food Delivery apps)?
Does the client require a back-end panel to manage aspects of the app? These are crucial things that drive the cost of app development. An app that requires real-time data is more complex to manage and develop.
- Development Team - Experience & ultimately pay-scale of the person working on the app also determines the app cost. More complex apps do require more experienced developers to work on them. At Intelivita, we believe each app needs to work perfectly no matter how small or big it is, and based on the requirement, we decide on the end person who will work on the app.
- Third-Party SDKs - If an app requires more third-party SDKs – it takes more development time and as such, is a factor that should be considered.
What kind of payment structure do you follow to bill your clients? Is it Pay per Feature, Fixed Cost, Pay per Milestone (could be in phases, months, versions, etc.)
We basically evaluate the requirement and work out a fixed cost for the client. But this cost is divided over multiple milestones, each of which delivers a pre-decided set of features. The client can test/verify the milestone, provide their feedback. Only after incorporation of their feedback, we raise the invoice for the same.
Do you take in projects which meet your basic budget requirement? If yes, what is the minimum requirement? If no, on what minimum budget you have worked for?
Yes, we do take even the simplest of projects & our minimum budget requirement is £1000. But we are not confined to price and project size; the project should also be exciting for the team.
What is the price range (min and max) of the projects that you catered to in 2018?
Minimum was £ 2,000, and the maximum was £ 150,000.
Which business model do you suggest to your clients enabling them to generate revenue from mobile applications? Why?
Basically, there are three common ways mobile apps can be monetized. But, there is no one size fits all option for monetizing a mobile app. It is largely dependent on the client’s business objectives, the app’s target market, and also other differentiators. Intelivita helps our clients choose the right monetizing channel, that is the best fit for the app.
- Paid app – An app which user can buy outright by paying a one-time cost. User is allowed to use all the features of the app without any restrictions.
- Advertisements - Basically, the app is monetized by displaying adverts on various screens of the app. Adverts can be in the form of video ads, banners, full-screen, rewards ads, etc. This monetization method is very beneficial where there is huge traffic of users, and users use the app recurrently, but the target users can’t be incentivized to outright purchase the app. Client’s usually earn depending on how many clicks their ads receive & from which region the ad click-through occurs.
- In-app purchases IAP — this works for a free app that has advanced features that users can unlock by making various purchases within the app. This is particularly useful for apps related to business, gaming, entertainment, productivity, etc. Furthermore, clients can also offer a subscription-based model - where subscription is offered via IAP, and users can gain access to advanced features by paying monthly/quarterly/yearly fees. A good example of this would be Fitness app / on-demand content apps.
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